Exercising in the morning is one of the best habits for your health! Performing workouts in the morning can help to speed up metabolism, regulate appetite and start your day off with a great accomplishment!
But should you even eat before a morning workout? Even if you're not normally a breakfast eater, eating something before your exercises will likely boost performance. Nearly all experts said that you should not exercise on an empty stomach.
When you wake up in the morning, your energy supplies are depleted and the body has fasted for many hours. Your muscles need glycogen (the way the body stores carbs) to fuel exercise. So a combination of carbohydrates and proteins will provide your body a steady stream of energy during any workout routine.
What to Eat Before a Workout
So you need to eat before exercise. But what exactly should you get to eat? It depends on many factors. One of them is type of exercise.
For low intensity morning workout like barre or yoga, you should consume 30g of carbs and 8g of protein. Your pre-workout foods can be a banana with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter.
In case of moderate workout, you will need 30g of carbohydrates and 15g of protein. An English muffin topped with two eggs is a good option for you.
If your workout is short and intense, you may need 30g of carbs and 8g of protein or more. That could be a banana and a hard-boiled egg.
How's about endurance workout? This kind of workouts usually take more than 1 hours. So, you should eat a minimum of 30g of carbohydrates per hour of training. You can get over a half cup of oatmeal to eat. Oats will provide energy to your body during workout.
Other important thing is timing of pre-workout meal. In order to maximize training results, try to get some foods which contain protein, carbs and fat 2–3 hours before a workout.
However, in unexpected circumstances you can not eat a full meal 2-3 hours prior to your training. In these cases, you can still get a decent pre-workout meal.
Remember that the sooner you eat before workouts, the simpler and smaller your meal should be. For example, if you eat 45–60 minutes before workout time, choose simple foods which I mentioned above to prevent any stomach discomfort during exercise.
The Best Pre-Workout Foods
Below is the list of best pre-workout foods for you. They will give you enough fuel to energize your workout but not so much so your body feels sluggish.
Bananas contain digestible carbohydrates and potassium. This fruit will help you maintain nerve and muscle function. Just keep in mind, your muscles use the glucose from carbohydrates for fuel.
In short- and high-intensity exercise, muscle and liver stores of glycogen are main source of energy. If you perform longer exercises, the degree to which carbs are used depends on many factors such as intensity, training types and your overall diet.
With full of fiber, oats gradually release carbohydrates into bloodstream. Additionally, oats will also provide B vitamins to help body convert carbohydrates into energy. Therefore, you should have 1 cup of oats at least 30 minutes before working out.
Fruit and Yogurt
Fruit is a good carbs source and greek yogurt contains high-quality protein. During your training, the carbohydrates from fruit break will down quickly and the protein will be used later to prevent muscle damage.
Many studies show that consuming protein alone or with carbs prior to training will help increase muscle protein synthesis.
Wholegrain bread provides carbohydrates to your body. You can eat wholegrain bread with jam, honey or hard-boiled eggs for high-quality protein.
A good rule of thumb for what to eat before a workout is a mixture of carbs and protein.
2–3 Hours Before Exercise: Sandwich on whole grain bread and side salad
1-2 Hours Before Exercise: Milk, protein powder or a cup of banana and sliced almonds.
Less than 1 Hour Before Exercise: Fruit and yogurt. You can also eat apple or orange if you preferred.
Surprisingly, one of the foods that most experts recommend before a workout, especially if you are trying to lose weight, is caffeine. Caffeine if consumed in the form of coffee, chocolate, tea or energy drinks helps in generating energy.
It also slows down your bodies fatigue rate and dramatically increases the rate of burning calories.
A lot of personal trainers will tell you to add a couple of shots of espresso to your pre-workout shake or drink to get you started faster. Nearly all coffee drinkers call their morning coffee a "heart starter".
Remember that, you will gain peak effects of caffeine in 90 minutes after consumption. So check when you start working out and then decide time for caffeine consumption. However, don't worry if you forget that because caffeine is still effective even when ingested 15–60 minutes prior to your training.
Advice for Your Morning Workouts Plan
If you're trying to tone and also lose some body fat do not believe the myth that if you don't eat or drink anything before you exercise you will lose more fat. The most likely scenario is that your body will go into severe nutritional deficit and shut down.
Result of which is you will not lose any fat or weight but you will get a ride in an ambulance to the nearest medical facility. You should never try any exercise straight after consuming anything. Always exercises at least 20 minutes, no matter what you consumed.
Perform A Longer Warm-Up: Your body temperature is naturally lower in the morning. When your workout begin blood flow, respiration rate and amount of oxygen delivered to muscle cells increase. An adequate warm-up will ensure your body changes gradually and properly.
Perform Your Favourite Exercises With A Partner: You’ll be more likely to perform exercises you enjoy during workout. Whether it’s a brisk run, yoga sessions, or a bike ride, perform a morning workout you appreciate to ensure you will stick to a routine and not come to dread that morning alarm.
Recruiting a partner can also help with consistency. A pre-arranged workout time with a partner will force you out of bed and take the option of “going back to sleep” out of the equation completely.
So it’s very important to fuel your body with suitable foods or nutrients before training. For maximizing performance and recovery, your best pre-workout meal must be a combination of carbs and protein. Sometimes, fat can also be beneficial if you consume it at least a few hours before exercise. You should get foods 2 to 3 hours and up to 30 minutes before training.
Keep in mind to eat foot that can be consumed easily, especially if your training start in no more than 1 hour. You can choose some different supplements. These supplements can aid better performance and promote recovery faster after your hard workouts.
At the end of the day, simple pre-workout nutrition practices can go a long way in helping you perform better and recover faster.